So, how can you beat fatigue, regain your verve and put the
spring back in your step? Check out our top 10 tips to help you beat fatigue
and ensure you get the most out of yourself and your day.
We've all been there: those days when you wake up shattered,
can barely drag yourself into work, and then struggle to keep your head off the
desk. More often than not this is because you had a particularly late night
which has left your body crying out for more sleep.
On the other hand, sometimes you may be getting to bed in
good time, thinking you’ll get a good night’s sleep, and yet when the morning
arrives you still feel like every waking thought and movement is a real effort.
Read: The A to Z of sleep
Get enough sleep
It may be stating the obvious, but to avoid tiredness you
should ensure you get enough sleep! Remember that your body needs sleep in
order to recharge — and staying up and watching a movie which starts at
midnight isn’t going to help! If you are having any trouble sleeping, then aim
to have a better sleep routine such as going to bed and getting up at the same
time. You could also improve your sleeping environment by making sure your
bedroom is quiet, dark and comfortable. Also, by using your bedroom for sleep
alone, your body will come to associate it with sleeping rather than reading or
Try to avoid stress
Stress is one of the most common reasons for feeling tired —
so beating stress will naturally help to alleviate your tiredness. There are
several ways in which to tackle stress, but the most important thing to do is
identify what is causing your stress in the first place.
It may be work that is the main cause of your stress —
perhaps because of bad work relationships, long hours, or an unfulfilling job.
If that’s the case, then look at your options about how you can improve the
situation. Also, make sure you switch off from work in your leisure time, and
try out some relaxation techniques such as having a massage, taking a hot bath
or listening to some music.
Read: 20 signs of burnout
Improve your diet and
Your diet can have a big impact on how you feel. Without a
proper, balanced diet you can start to feel a bit sluggish and are likely to
become fatigued — so ensure that you eat healthy meals and at the correct
times. Skipping breakfast will ensure you start your day on the wrong footing
and force you to run on empty until lunchtime.
Eating ‘little and often’ can work for some people, as it
means that they’ve got something to sustain them rather than going for longer
periods between meals — which will help them to avoid the feeling of being
hungry and tired prior to their main meals. Keeping blood sugar levels stable
is also important to avoid fatigue — so make sure you eat enough carbohydrates.
Avoid caffeine in the
While caffeine might be great for giving you a boost in the
daytime, and while some people just can’t do without their early morning
wake-up cuppa, by the evening time you really need to start thinking about
laying off the caffeine unless you want to get a restless night’s sleep.
Caffeine — contained in things such as tea, coffee,
chocolate and cola drinks — can cause restlessness and sleeping difficulties,
which will only add to your tiredness the next day. It may also result in you
needing more caffeine to keep you going — so it’s best to try and break the
cycle by cutting down on the amount of caffeine you drink.
Read: Nutrition basics in a nutshell
People frequently get in the habit of trying to do too much.
The demands they are putting on themselves may leave them feel fatigued — and
if there are not enough hours in the day to juggle their job, family and
friends, then they may end up not getting enough sleep either. On the other
hand, having a more balanced lifestyle, making some time for yourself, and
learning to relax and slow down sometimes will mean you’ll be more able to
Think about what you could change to give yourself more time
for relaxation. It’s also best to have realistic expectations about what you
can achieve rather than running yourself into the ground!
Exercise to boost
your energy levels
Physical activity is a great way of boosting your energy
levels and avoiding fatigue. If you’re unfit, then that generally makes you
feel tired, and being tired means you won’t feel like exercising! You may have
to break this cycle of inactivity to get yourself feeling less tired and more
Just introduce some physical activity into your routine —
even if this means simply getting off the bus a few stops earlier and walking
the rest of the way to work, or even cycling in. Of course, if you can also fit
in some other exercise into your day, such as running, swimming or going the
gym, then great. Just make sure you keep it regular and that it fits in with
Read: 20 good reasons to get moving
amounts of water
Don’t forget to keep hydrated throughout the day, as this
can also help to prevent tiredness. The recommended daily amount is around two
litres per day, but this depends on other factors such as your work environment
or how much physical activity you get through in a day. Water is thought to
make up around 80 per cent of the brain — and so poor hydration can adversely
affect your mental as well as your physical performance. In fact, such is the
link between water and performance, it is not uncommon for schools to allow
children to have water to drink throughout the day in the classroom — and the
same idea should certainly be applied in your own workplace. The best way to
stay well hydrated throughout each day is to have a water bottle within arm’s
reach at all times.
Try to avoid alcohol
While alcohol can be great for helping you relax, it can
also have the effect of making you feel tired — both in the long-term and the
short-term. Alcohol depresses the central nervous system and acts as a sedative
— so those couple of ‘harmless’ drinks at lunchtime may have the effect of
sending you off to sleep come mid-afternoon! Alcohol can also adversely affect
your sleep patterns, particularly if you drink just before bed. If you do drink
before bed, then while you might crash out initially, your sleep pattern will
be disturbed — and not just by fact that you’ll probably need to relieve yourself
in the middle of the night! Also, on the following day, you may have to suffer
both the effects of a hangover and the associated tiredness.
Complementary therapies can be helpful when you need to
alleviate fatigue by promoting relaxation so that you get a proper night’s
sleep. Reflexology, aromatherapy, acupuncture, yoga and massage are just some
of the meditation or relaxation techniques you can try. A more relaxed you
means your body will be able recharge itself more effectively and you’ll
probably also have much more quality sleep time. Complementary therapies can
help you to feel more refreshed, invigorated, and able do your daily tasks more
efficiently — and this will free up more time for yourself!
Read: Yoga poses to help you sleep
Get outdoors and breathe
Being outside can be a great revitaliser. Even just 10
minutes outside during your lunch break breathing in some fresh air can put the
spring back in your step. The body thrives on getting sunlight — so being stuck
in an office or factory space is only going to bring on feelings of tiredness.
Get out there and make the most of the daylight hours when you can — and if you
can combine this with some physical activity, then all the better. Also, when
you’re outside, remember to breathe properly! Apparently most of us don’t
breathe properly and are chest breathers rather than taking it right down to
the abdomen. So, take a little time each day to focus on your breathing to help
A final word on
Fatigue is usually a temporary situation brought on by
overdoing it on a particular day or group of days, and it can be lessened or
avoided altogether by using some of the simple measures mentioned above.
However, persistent tiredness can also be more a long-term thing and lead to
problems with your ability to function on day-to-day basis. Good lifestyle
choices — including a healthy diet, exercise, and sleep management — should
eliminate long-term tiredness, but if fatigue persists then seek help from your
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